The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. ~1 Peter 5:13
When we introduce or refer to family members, we typically refer to their relationship to us with descriptions like “my wife,” “my husband,” “my daughter,” or “my son.” Peter refers to a special relationship that he had with a young man he took under his wings. John Mark, or Marcus, is referred to Peter’s spiritual son in the faith.
We see John Mark, the member.
“And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.” John Mark showed signs of spiritual potential and was recruited to be a member of the missionary-church planting team of Paul and Barnabas. He was the nephew of Barnabas, so there was an affinity already in place. As a member of this team, he was recruited to help serve the needs of Paul and Barnabas and participate in the various ministry needs. It would be hard work, but worthwhile work. One of the best things to happen for a young man is to learn the ministry firsthand by being a team member who can be trusted in serving in various capacities.
We see John Mark and his migration.
“Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.” I am certain that John accompanied Paul and Barnabas to the island of Cyprus with much enthusiasm and vigor. Getting a work established on Cyprus was not without many challenges and pushback from the devil. For some reason, John Mark abruptly left the team and returned to Jerusalem. We are not told why he left, but it could have been due to fears, hardships, insubordination, immaturity, and loss of desire. It is heartbreaking that we read, “John departing from them….” In effect, he showed that he wasn’t the right person in the right place.
We see John Mark, who was mentored.
In spite of his disappointing departure, two men figured prominently in his restoration. There was Barnabas, who took him to Cyprus. Barnabas had a strong gift of comforting, and God used him to restore confidence and faith in God’s working in Mark’s life. The second man who had a strong influence in Mark’s life was Peter. Peter refers to Mark as “my son.” Peter invested quality time and effort in mentoring Mark as a servant of God, soulwinner, and helper to older men in the ministry. There was a bond between Peter and John Mark that made them a great serving team that proved to be a blessing to other leaders. Paul, before his death, referred to John Mark as being profitable to him for the ministry. Mentoring is a critical leadership-development means for producing the next generation of servants of God.
We see John Mark and his manuscript.
Peter’s influence in John Mark’s life eventually led to John Mark being used of God to write the Gospel of Mark. Instead of being a failure, God used John Mark to have an impact for years to come. Peter had a vision for John Mark’s life and product. This vision directed and developed John Mark in becoming a man whom God could use beyond his lifetime.
Are you investing in the life of a younger believer? Do you see the impact that a growing and teachable believer can have in the lives of others? Find a young believer whom you can rightly influence for years to come.
Have an influential God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 6-7